Recently I was invited to one of the most beautiful feasts.
It was in Western Carolina in a place called The Barn. Hosted by a lovely chef and caterer named Kristin, she was the kind of lady you secretly hoped would be your new best friend. The Barn was a magical place that was once her grandparents’ homestead, dripping with love and stories and beauty everywhere you looked.
We dined alfresco with white tablecloths and lovely wildflowers in white ceramic pitchers, eating elegant food prepared from Kristin’s nearby garden. Tiny cheese wafers were delicately rolled in edible flowers, baby daisies were sweetly clipped to homemade rose lemonade. Southern biscuits with jam made me weep just a bit for a grandmother I must have missed out on somehow. We finished lunch with hand-churned peach ice cream that Kristin scooped for me personally.
To say that it overwhelmed my heart with profound gratitude and beauty was an understatement. That meal felt like a tiny miracle.
I came away from that day wondering how I deserved so much wonder of food and feast. The day was a gift, a treasure, a lovely overwhelming thing that almost felt like a dream. I know this sounds strange -- but even though there were others at the feast, it felt as if it were a gift meant for me. It was a gift from my heavenly Father who wanted to remind me of His lavish love and abilities, even with a simple thing like lunch. I am forever surprised how God is such a personal God, loving us in ways that speak to our hearts.
What’s funny about that day is that I almost missed it. When I first got the invitation, all I could think about was how busy I was, how I didn’t think it would be fun, or how I had too much on my plate to take time for the feast. I probably would never have gone except my friend Maria was visiting that day and I wanted to do something interesting. So we went to the Barn and I was transformed and overwhelmed and a little bit wrecked by how much beauty and awe was given to me.
Isn’t that just like Christ? For Him to take such an ordinary barn, ordinary ingredients like daisies, biscuits, jam, and ice cream and overwhelm us with profound goodness.
What I learned that day is I think God likes to surprise us with His goodness in ways that speak to our hearts. But it’s up to us to be on the lookout for His blessings. We have to wait with expectant hearts to know that blessings are on the way or here right now. They may not always look like dreamy lunches at an outdoor barn. Sometimes they look like remaining steadfast in challenges, surviving hard conversations, overcoming sickness, or deciding to show up when you want to go back to bed. Other blessings can be more obvious like gorgeous sunrises, a surprising field of fall sunflowers, the golden color of light on your favorite person’s face.
The blessings are there, easy ones and hard ones, but they wait for us to take notice.
The invitation is here for me and it’s here for you. Look for the blessings. Know that they are all for you. Even in things that don’t seem like blessings, they might be profound gifts. Christ wants to prepare a feast in life for us, but we have to come to the table. We get to witness how Christ takes ordinary things and transforms them into abundance, peace, healing, fulfillment, goodness.
The feast is for you and for me. We are worthy in Christ.